Christmas Campaigns for Gen Z: How to Market to Younger Audiences

Christmas campaigns for Gen Z all have these key ingredients. Here’s our roundup of the best + why they work, so you can win them over.
Fanbytes | Christmas Campaigns

In 30 seconds:

  • The internet inspires 8 in 10 holiday season purchases. We’ll take you through the best ways to make your Christmas campaign shine.
  • Gen Z spends 56% of their online time shopping during the Christmas period. We’re sharing our top tips to get their attention.
  • Successful marketing campaigns are a great source of inspiration. Here are our favourites on the “nice” list this year.

It’s getting closer. Soon customers will knock on brands’ doors searching for the perfect Christmas gift

Last Christmas, retail sales dropped to a value of £79.7 billion mid lockdown. This year, spending is projected to increase to £84.7 billion, and Gen Z will play a big part. Over a quarter of Gen Z shoppers say they have more gifts to buy and more loved ones to treat this Christmas. 

With that in mind, we’ve put together the top ideas, examples and tips to for your Christmas campaigns before Santa Claus comes to town. 

What makes a great holiday marketing strategy?

You need to build your Christmas marketing strategy around your brand and its strengths. There are some simple points you should always consider for any festive marketing campaign, however:

1. Clarity

Your campaign should be clear and exciting. The average Gen Z attention span is 8 seconds, so you have to grab their attention quickly to get them into the festive spirit

2. Timing

Maximising your reach through longer campaigns is smart. Most shoppers start Christmas shopping before December, so it’s wise to prepare early. Don’t worry if you’re looking for some last-minute options, though; we’ll get to that later.

3. Platforms

Choosing where you put your Christmas campaign is another factor that could make or break its performance. Keep an eye on social media trends and be aware of precisely where your target market interacts. 

4. Innovation

Groundbreaking ideas for a merry Christmas will attract attention. Three-quarters of 13-34-year-olds say brands should always try new things, even if they’re not certain they will work. Think outside of the box and start creating ideas that stand out from the crowd.

How do I promote Christmas to a younger generation?

It’s all about understanding what makes them tick. Gen Z are forward thinkers. Online content is a heavy influence in their lives. Luckily we know what wins their hearts. So, here are a few of our industry secrets straight from us to you (Think of it as an early Christmas present). 

1. Social Media

97% of Gen Z shoppers use social media as inspiration. If you’re looking to market to them, this is where your holiday campaign should be. 

The top social media platforms for Gen Z are TikTok, followed by Instagram and Youtube. So hop on and make sure you’re putting your marketing ideas in the right limelight.

2. Valuable content

A request from Gen Z: No spam, please. A study showed that 69% of Gen-Z’s think adverts are disruptive. But how are you meant win them over with a Christmas ad if they hate ads? 

Well, here’s the caveat. 47% of Gen Z say they appreciate relevant ads. They want value. So make sure you’re giving it to them in any Christmas campaign you launch.

3. Storytelling

Telling a good story is about building anticipation and creating absorbing worlds. It’s also what makes a viral TikTok video, as we discuss here. It’s also integral for getting into the festive spirit.

With Gen Z watching on average 23 hours of video each week, you can and should use video storytelling to win them over. 

4. Interactivity

Creating interactive experiences sparks conversation about your brand. Whether that’s through user-generated content or immersive features, getting younger audiences involved in your campaign will help them remember it.

Why not turn your social media posts into a gift guide – and ask your followers which ‘family member’ should feature next?

5. Social Causes

68% of Gen-Z expects brands to contribute to society. Christmas season charity campaigns are a way of showing that you care. Trust is vital with your consumers, so build it by giving to those in need this Christmas and discussing what your company does for others.

The best examples of Christmas campaigns

Now you have a few insider tips on marketing to Generation Z, let’s get into the best ideas for festive campaigns. We’ve put them into three categories: social media, TikTok and video adverts:

The best social media Christmas campaigns 2021

Fanbytes | Gen Z Marketing | Christmas - McDonald’s

McDonald’s Teaser

With the release of their new TV Christmas ad, McDonald’s were social-media prepped. They posted a teaser trailer on Instagram beforehand. They combined this with Christmas hashtag #reindeerready

Why does it work? It’s a talking point. It spikes interest. They’ve included a hashtag so people can share their thoughts on it over social media.

Fanbytes | Gen Z Marketing | Christmas - Funky Pigeon

Funky Pigeon Competition

Competitions and giveaways are a great way of increasing brand reach before Christmas day. Funky Pigeon created a competition with a personalised element. Who doesn’t want their pet’s adorable face on a bauble? Gen Z pet owners have a much higher propensity to shop online for pet products, so if you’re looking to appeal to them, you should page out of this book. 

Why does it work? Competitions have a conversion rate of almost 34%. It promotes engagement and encourages interaction.

Fanbytes | Gen Z Marketing | Christmas - Cadbury Cath Kidston

Cadbury Collaboration

Cadbury collaborated with Cath Kidston for a limited edition decorative tin. They combined this announcement with their social media campaign #aheartfeltthankyou to encourage audiences to name the people in their life they are thankful for. 

Why does it work? Teaming up with another brand doubles your reach on social media. This campaign was highly emotive, fostering engagement and boosting brand sentiment at a sentimental time of the year.

Fanbytes | Gen Z Marketing | Christmas - Smyths Toys

Smyths Toys User-Generated Content

Smyths Toys created a fun, exciting Christmas campaign with an interactive Instagram filter. Kids could ‘find out’ what toy they were through the feature’s random generator. This created an organic sharing opportunity to foster user-generated content. 

Why does it work? User-Generated Content (UGC) influences 90% of shoppers’ purchasing decisions. Allowing people to create content linked to your brand builds trust

We’re experts on UGC. We’ve created campaigns with TikTok influencers to push brands onto Gen Z’s radar and boost Christmas sales. An example is our Christmas campaign for Eylure, the home of false lashes. Our influencers tallied up over 670k views. 

Curious to see more of our work? Check out our case studies here, or how we work with toy brands here.

The best TikTok Christmas marketing campaigns

M&S Guess who is Percy Pig

Before M&S dropped their new video ad featuring their beloved character Percy Pig, they released a teaser asking their followers to guess the voice actor. 

Why does it work? They kept it simple, instructing followers to comment their guess. This fostered interaction. It also meant audiences would come back to find out the answer, multiplying engagement.

Charlotte Tilbury Unboxing

Unboxing and hauls are brilliant ways to get your brand out there. This TikTok influencer unboxes a Charlotte Tilbury advent calendar and racked up over 130k likes in one day. 

Why does it work? Close to one-fifth of teens said they favour haul and unboxing videos over other forms of content

Pret A Manger #joywithpret

Pret A Manger invested heavily in TikTok last year, pushing a new campaign with a specific hashtag – #joywithpret. Influencers soon got on the scene, sharing what gave them joy with the hashtag, spreading the trend throughout the platform. 

Why does it work? 72% of Gen Z say they follow at least some influencers so that they would be part of a loyal audience looking for brand recommendations.

The best Christmas video ad campaigns 2021:

John Lewis

John Lewis has a Christmas campaign reputation to uphold, and this year’s added some fun. Building loyalty to create valuable content is especially important for Gen Z – who actually spend the most on their parents at Christmas.


Generation Z has turned to nostalgia as a form of escapism. That’s why McDonald’s’ ad campaign works so well for this market. Trust us; it will get your eyes a bit misty.


This year Disney expanded their festive campaign “From Our Family To Yours” in support of Make-A-Wish with a heartwarming message. 37% of Gen Zers say the most important thing a brand can do is be purposeful. Disney delivers.


Lidl taps into the world in which we could live thousands of years from now. It emphasises their loyalty to customers. It also hints at elements of the newly talked about “metaverse”. If you aren’t sure what we’re on about, you can read our article on it here. 

Christmas campaigns you can do right now

So you’ve now got all the tricks of the trade plus inspiration to market your Christmas to campaign and win over Gen Z. 

The good news is there’s time to create Christmas campaigns. 70% of shoppers still had shopping to do in the final week before Christmas last year

There are plenty of ways you can get your brand out there quickly and effectively:

1. Promote fast delivery

Fast-moving consumer goods do what they say on the tin. 71% of Gen-Zers will pay more for same-day shipping, so make it an option!

2. Start a festive countdown

Social media is the home of fast marketing. One option is to create a countdown. You could promote different products and services each day or create engagement through interactive features.

3. Gift an influencer

Send an influencer that your target audience follow some Christmas presents. Getting them to show off your brand through the gift of giving is a smart way to grow your reach.

4. Get Christmassy

Use social media to photograph or film your products in festive ways, adding to the season’s cheer. People will be inspired to buy if they can envisage your products as gifts. 

Christmas campaigns, delivered.

The Christmas period can seem overwhelming. Visions of rushing shoppers come to mind. But there’s time to get a Christmas Marketing Campaign that ticks off all the things on Santa’s list – especially if you’re marketing to Gen Z.

A third of TikTok users say they use the platform to stay up to date with the latest products and trends, and nearly half of TikTok users say they’re on the platform to discover new things. 

So go get ‘em!

If you want to sleigh the competition further, we know just how to get your brand ready for Gen Z this festive season. Get in touch and let’s warm their hearts through Christmas and beyond.

Looking for more Christmas cheer and tips on how to nail your Gen Z marketing? Want to find out how we can help? Look no further.

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To find out how Fanbytes can help you connect with a Gen Z Audience fill in the form to get in touch! 

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